For the first time in what feels like a long time we didn’t have any weekend plans. This was somewhat deliberate. After Dan’s first week of long commutes a restful weekend seemed like the best idea.
An idea that got old at about 11.30 on Saturday morning. Within an hour we were out, casually perusing the tourist-filled shops of the city. An archetypical Brit, my usual reaction to large groups of European teenagers falls short of ladylike, but basking under yet another glorious day of sunshine, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the enthusiasm of how beautiful the city is.
Flags waving lazily outside the newly refurbished library, the faux tudor cladding above the chain stores and the uneven cobbles that have sent me flying on more than one night out, everything gleamed as if I was seeing them with new eyes.
It’s too easy to become blind to your surroundings, the same streets you walk every day passing in a blur of overly familiar landmarks. These occasional reminders that I am lucky to be surrounded by such beauty are a refreshing break from a world rushing past as I’m heading from one place to another, phone in hand, headphones on.
Vanilla ice cream is something that I find I consistently ignored. Vanilla, a modern adjective for bland and lacking, is often overlooked in favour of other flavours of ice cream and is reserved as an accompaniment to far more exciting desserts. It’s not surprising as it has become synonymous with 2l tubs of soft-scoop that melts into a suspicious watery foam, and the soft spiral of bright white ‘Mr Whippy 99s’ served in every park and seafront across the UK.
There is an incredible simplicity to this ice cream; the flavours are pure but strong. I poured maple syrup over the scoops for the effect in the photographs, but truth be told the ice cream is sweet enough without it, despite the suspiciously low amount of sugar in the recipe. Because of the lack of milk in this recipe, it doesn’t crystallise when it freezes which is why you don’t need to churn it.
No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
makes about 1l
from the BBC
2 vanilla pods
500ml double cream
3 egg yolks
Open the vanilla pods and deseed.
Bring the cream and pods to the boil.
Add the sugar and stir until it has all dissolved.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
Continuing to whisk slowly, pour the hot cream over the yolks.
Strain the mixture through a sieve then whisk in the vanilla seeds.
Pour into a tub and freeze for 2-3 hours or until frozen.